Taliaferro

15 January 2010: A Friend Of Friends: Lessons From The Underground Railroad

Luckie:

For Sandra’s Hope. #TALIAFERRO

Originally posted on The TALIAFERRO Project:

By sjtaliaferro

One night during the holidays I watched one of my favorite movies, Roots: The Gift. The movie stars LeVar Burton and Louis Gossett, Jr., in their roles as Kunta Kinte and Fiddler from the television series Roots. In this movie, Kunta and Fiddler accompany their owner to another plantation at Christmas time for a party, and become involved in a plan to help some runaway slaves escape via the Underground Railroad to freedom. A simple, yet powerful story. There are many messages and lessons to be learned from Roots: The Gift.

In one of my favorite scenes, Fiddler and Kunta are helping the group of runaway slaves get to the river where they are to meet a boat that will take them further on their journey to freedom. Along the way they make a stop to pick up other “passengers” on the Underground Railroad. When they come to…

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AFoF, Cousin Musings, Taliaferro

King’s DREAM. Sandra’s HOPE. A Community’s WORK. #DREAMFORWARD

Dr. Martin Luther KING Jr.On Wednesday January 15th, 2014 the world will pause in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 85th birthday.

As a Nation, we will never forget Dr. King’s life and civic legacy.

As a person of color, whose southern-born Grandparents vested in the hope of the Civil Rights Movement, I can never detach from King’s Dream.

A multi-hued, non-violent army [that included my Ancestors] marched, rode, stood, sat, walked and suffered for a shared Dream. Dr. King gave his life fighting for the People’s Dream.

As beneficiaries of The Movement, we’re often viewed as the fulfillment of King’s Dream. But I ask, are we really?

Are we the fruit of the Civil Rights Movement if we’ve dismissed its most fundamental principle – service to our community? In 2014, are we living or merely reciting Dr. King’s Dream?

What are we doing to help others?

On January 15th 2010, historian Sandra TALIAFERRO penned her favorite blog post, A Friend Of Friends: Lessons From The Underground Railroad.

Sandra’s Roots The Gift narrative is one of hope for descendants on either side of a blemished history to rise and work collectively beyond it.

AFoF sparked in all of us. It was a catalyst leading to racially-mixed discussions on the research responsibility of slavery’s descendants, black and white.

AFoF prompted me to create the Carnival of African American Genealogy (CoAAG) and host its 1st Edition Restore My Name – Slave Records & Genealogy Research, a cross-cultural sharing of slave-related records.  And with CoAAG’s success, we went further to keep the exchange flowing with the launch of A Friend of Friends, a repository of slave documents researchers could contribute to and access online.

We knew oft times overlooked and/or dismissed historic documents, are the key to our research-challenged Slave Ancestry. We hoped our efforts would make a lasting difference.

King a world changer. Sandra a culture changer. Both Dreamers in a society capable of self-correcting its flaws.

Be true keepers of King’s Dream and Sandra’s hope, today. Accept the truth, we must change the world from where we stand. The work is OURS.

On January 15th for the 6th Edition Carnival of African American Genealogy, we’ll pledge dreams for the future via our #DREAMFORWARD Tumblr. Dreams big and small we’ll marry with ACTION in the days and years ahead.

Sandra friends will carry her community hope forward by reblogging her A Friend Of Friends: Lessons From The Underground Railroad wish and continuing the work of fostering a research community where Ancestors of all descendants are acknowledged and respected.

Please join us for BOTH!:)

All RACES. All AGES. One PURPOSE. #DREAMFORWARD

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Middlebrooks, Taliaferro

A Simple Promise to Sandra

I was in my car on February 15, 2013 when I learned via a Genea-Traveler email from Felicia of Echoes of My Nola Past, Sandra TALIAFERRO had passed. It took my breath away. San and I hadn’t spoken in a long time. Too long really. I didn’t even realize Sandra had been ill.

Though the heaviness of her passing followed me for days, I couldn’t help feeling San was finally free. I could see her interviewing the TALIAFERRO and MIDDLEBROOKS Ancestors she’d spent countless hours searching for. I could see her getting to know her daddy, John Lawrence TALIAFERRO and reuniting with her Mama, Lillian MIDDLEBROOKS who passed on September 27, 2009 — San’s birthday.

I could see her walking and exploring and if she felt like it — probably running!:)

Many don’t know Sandra spent almost 45 years in a wheelchair. In route to student orientation on her first day of college at Clark Atlanta University, Sandra and friends were in a terrible car accident that nearly took her life. In spite of her physical constraints, Sandra rose — in every possible way.

Sandra TALIAFERRO was as stubborn as a mule, but she was truly amazing too! I hope she knows that now. So in October when San came and sat on my shoulders to say something had to be done to prevent her research from being lost, I knew better than to ignore her!:)

The timing stunk! I’d just loss Mama 8/5 and started AAGSAR 8/15. Small gestures of attempting to pay for her I Never Knew My Father domain or rescue research data from her old computer were unsuccessful. The only thing I could do, was re-post Sandra’s archived research work to a new domain.

So I promised Sandra [if she’d allow me to sleep] I’d complete our restoration project before the New Year. I added her last archived post penned January 7, 2012 – Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Your Very Best 2011 Research Adventure to her new online home, The TALIAFERRO Project on December 31, 2013. Not even 1 day to spare!:)

There are 72 posts in all, and they tell us MUCH about who Sandra TALIAFERRO was as a daughter, sister, friend, human and researcher. The TALIAFERRO research is a meticulous body of record for any genealogist with connections to San’s family line. It’s also an EXCELLENT example for the methodical nature of good research — how it should be approached, documented and cited.

Without question, Sandra knows how much I love and respect her. We can’t bring her back but we can continue to champion the Ancestor work effort that was her lifeline. We can direct new researchers — connected or not — to the wealth of data and best practices it offers. We can continue working the leads to confirm the cousin connections either our hearts and/or DNA told us are there.

That’s how we honor Sandra — rise to whatever challenge is presented, live life without excuses, and be impeccable.

Do small things with GREAT . The TALIAFERRO Project.

Sandra TALIAFERRO

Happy New Year!:)

Luckie

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Taliaferro

07 January 2012: Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Your Very Best 2011 Research Adventure

It’s time for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun from Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings.

Randy presents as your mission, should you decide to accept it:

1) Decide which of your (many?) genealogy research adventures in 2011 was your “very best” (your definition).

2) Tell us about it in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, in a Status report or comment on Facebook, or in a Stream note on Google Plus.

Here’s mine:

My very best genealogy research adventure for 2011 was finding the final division of slaves in the probate records for the estate of Edward Mobley who died in 1839 in Chester District, SC.  I discovered early in my research that my 2nd great grandfather, Miles, was a slave in the Taliaferro family in DeKalb and Fulton County Georgia, but until last year I did not have a paper trail to document what I knew from circumstantial evidence to be true.  Thanks to the amazing records on FamilySearch.org I found the documentation I had long searched for – that Miles was one of the slaves allotted to Susan Mobley Taliaferro the daughter of Edward Mobley. Wait! There’s more.  I also discovered two very promising candidates for my 2nd great grandmother Lizzie in that same document. It was a research-altering discovery.  You can read about this research triumph in my earlier post “Lizzie Taliaferro, My 2nd Great Grandmother. Have I Found Her?

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Taliaferro

20 November 2011: Lizzie Taliaferro, My 2nd Great Grandmother. Have I found her?

In November 2009, I wrote about my 2nd great grandmother, Lizzie Taliaferro.  You can read that post here.  As I stated there, Lizzie was the mother of my great grandfather John Wesley Taliaferro. I know nothing about her except that she was born in either Georgia or South Carolina, and that she was sold away or died prior to 1856.  The chances of finding any additional information on Lizzie were slim and I had pretty much given up.  I am learning more and more along this genealogy journey that you should never give up hope.

Background

As I am writing this post, it occurred to me that I need to give a little background before I proceed. Thinking about that, I realized that I have accomplished another research goal that I had not shared or written about and this needed to be talked about in order to properly lay out my case for finding Lizzie.

My 2nd great grandfather Miles Taliaferro and his son John Wesley Taliaferro were slaves of Richard Taliaferro and his son Edward Mobley Taliaferro of Fulton County Georgia.  Richard was married to Susan Mobley and her father was Edward Mobley of Chester, South Carolina.  I won’t go into the details here, but through my research I can document that a slave named Miles was owned by Edward Mobley at the time of his death in 1839.  I can also document that a slave named Miles was owned by the Richard Taliaferro family here in Georgia in 1856, and that the family had a direct relationship to Edward Mobley – his daughter Susan.  Based on those facts, I speculated that Susan Taliaferro had received Miles in the final division of her father’s estate.  But, I did not have a paper trail to document this because there was no final division of slaves in the estate packet for Edward Mobley that I received from the South Carolina Department of Archives and History (SCDAH).  I emailed the Archives requesting any other records for the estate of Edward Mobley, but was told there were none. There were some loose paper files, but I would need to come to the Archives and search them myself.  Short of taking a research trip to South Carolina to search the records for myself, I had hit a brick wall.

I knew in my heart that the “Miles” in Edward Mobley’s 1839 will and the Miles in the 1856 inventory and appraisement of the estate of Richard Taliaferro was the same person; the same Miles living near Edward Taliaferro in the 1870 and 1880 census.  I just had this feeling I was right. But, feelings are not proof and that’s what I needed – proof.

The paper trail for Miles leads to finding Lizzie.  Maybe.

Earlier this year I was elated to read that FamilySearch.org had online digital images of South Carolina estate records. This was my opportunity to search for more estate records for Edward Mobley. After searching for less than an hour, I hit the jackpot! The documents in the estate packet that I received from the SCDAH were there, but there were also other records that were not included in the estate packet, including a final division of slaves. This was just what I needed to prove and document that Miles was one of the slaves received by Susan Taliaferro.  Here is the list of “Slaves Allotted to Susan Taliaferro” (click to enlarge):

Slaves-Alloted-to-Susan-Taliaferro

Source: South Carolina Probate Records, Files and Loose Papers, 1731-1964, Chester, Probate Court, Files 1788-1866, Apartments 049-050, Packages 776-813, Estate of Edward Mobley, Images 159-203, (digital image, Family Search,  http://familysearch.org :assessed 12 May 2011).

There he is on the next to last line “Miles 775”. I was so excited. But, wait!!  Listed right next to Miles is “little liz” and then “Elizabeth”. Could one of them be my great, great grandmother Lizzie?  I know very little about equating the appraised value of a slave with their age.  Miles was born about 1824, so at the time of the final division, 31 December 1839, he would have been about 15 years old.  He is appraised at $775.  Little Liz is appraised at $500 and Elizabeth at $300.  It saddens me to think of my ancestors in terms of a dollar amount. It brings tears to my eyes.  It is a very, very uncomfortable feeling.  Unfortunately, it is a necessary element in the analysis as I try to determine an approximate age for Little Liz and Elizabeth to further narrow down which is more likely my Lizzie.  I am thinking that Little Liz was a little younger that Miles and then Elizabeth a bit younger than Little Liz.  Some of the slaves in this group are listed in terms of their relationship to each other.  Could Little Liz and Elizabeth be related?  I ruled that as unlikely since other relationships were indicated.  Hopefully, someone with more knowledge on this subject will comment with their thoughts.   I welcome your input.

Little Liz or Elizabeth – either one of them could be my 2nd great grandmother Lizzie Taliaferro.  Of course I realize it might not be either one.  But, this is probably as close as I’m going to come to finding my great, great grandmother and it’s just too much of a coincidence to ignore.

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Taliaferro

27 October 2011: My 23andMe Results Are In!

In late September, I received a free DNA kit from 23andMe in conjunction with the Roots to the Future Project. Last week, I checked the date my sample was received (October 8th) and assumed it would probably be a few more weeks before I received my results.  Not!! Last night, I opened my email and there it was; a message from 23andMe stating that my results were back.  I was thrilled and quickly logged on to see my results.

My maternal haplogroup is L1c1d.  According to 23andMe, haplogroup L1c originated about 60,000 years ago most likely in western-central Africa and is extremely common among western pygmy populations such as the Biaka and Bakola. Today, this group is particularly common among the forest-dwelling Pygmies and the Bantu-speaking populations of central Africa.

My DNA origins are 80% African, 17% European, and 3% Asian (most likely Native American).

Sandra-Taliaferro23andMe

Here is my Ancestry Painting.

Ancestry-Painting-23andMe

The majority of my DNA, 80%, is African.  No surprises there.  The 3% percent Asian, although a very small percentage, is interesting. This most likely represents Native American ancestry; from my reading this DNA test does not distinguish between Asian and Native American. My brother and I were just speculating about my results last week.  There are stories of some Native American ancestry on my paternal side.  We wondered if any of that would be revealed.  According to my brother and cousins, our paternal grandmother always talked about being part Native American. Honestly, the photo of her, posted here, looks European, rather than Native American. On the other hand, the photo of her mother, posted here, lends some credibility to the family stories.  Or, is it possible that 3% could be “noise”.  What the heck is noise???

I am not sure if the 17% European is coming more from my maternal side or if it is from my paternal side.  Could it be both? Again, looking at the picture of my paternal grandmother, it definitely could be coming from my father.  If I understand correctly, the position of the blue color on the chromosome has something to do with which parent that DNA is coming from. I just don’t know.  Someone help me out here – I need a “chromosome reading”!!

This was my first DNA test.  I am excited about the results even though I don’t fully understand them.  I will be doing a lot of reading and research in the days ahead.

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